Don't Ask: Super Hunky Answers Your Dirt Bike Questions

Super Hunky says, "Go ahead, but if your questions is stupid, you've been warned!"

Jun. 11, 2015 By Rick Sieman
Rick Sieman

If you choose to email a question to this forum, then you must conduct yourself accordingly. Therefore, the following rules are in order:

1. Do not write your email to me IN CAPS. If you do so, I will print out your question and do terrible things to it.

2. Do not request a personal e-mail response. Since I get thousands of questions each month, trying to answer them all would cut deeply into my leisure time, which I value more than your current state of confusion.

3. Try to spell at least in a semi-correct fashion. If you choose to mangle the English language, expect no mercy from this quarter. You might be mocked severely.

4. Do not ask for me to send you copies of my many manuals and literature. I am not in the library business, nor do I want to spend the bulk of my day at the copy machine just because you're too lazy to ask your dealer,  or look around a bit.

5. Don't bother me with truly stupid questions, like how to get 50 more horsepower for a buck and a half

6. Now that you know the rules, think carefully and have at it!

Oh yes Ö Iíll leave your e-mail unedited, for what itís worth.

Send your questions to [email protected], Attn: Don't Ask, or leave your questions in the comment section below.

Previous Donít Ask Columns
May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

I have the first issue (June of 1971) of Dirt Bike magazine. What do you think it's worth?

I bought it in 1971 and had it ever since.


Dirt Bike Magazine

I saved 50 copies of the first issue of Dirt Bike for many years and then decide to sell them. All 50 copies went for $300 each and I wish I'd had the common sense and save more than just those first 50. Right now, a clean first issue of Dirt Bike is going to go for at least $350, maybe more.


Mr. Hunky, Thanks in advance your contributions to my misspent youth and for providing my earliest journalist influence. I am searching for a copy of the poster shown above. I had three from the Thought Factory and my then wife threw them out. I am still traumatized by her stupidity especially now that I have finally acquired an awesome shop in which to display them. The poster above, ironically enough, hangs in Brad's trophy room. The two were Number 1 (RD) and Passing Through. The Lackey poster I covet the most. If you know of anyone that is reproducing these, please advise.
Gary Davis

Sorry, Gary, but no photo came through with your email. However, I am familiar with the photos/poster that you are talking about, and I don't know anyone who is reproducing them. Your best bet is to go on eBay and hope you can hit. Good luck.


hey rick,

i`ve engaged in a discussion on the elsinore site regarding the ``hop
up kit`` for the `73/74 cr250m.  do you have a link on don jones`
collaboration with honda and his ported cylinders?


rick gold

We always refer to Matt Cuddy when it comes to anything Don Jones ever did. Here's what Matt has to say:

"Get a Fordsom grinder and clean and match the ports. Knife edge the transfer ports where they meet the cases, and rough up the intake, so it will swirl and not cause droplets of fuel to retard the combustion. A nice clockwise (Northern Hemisphere) grind should help wonders with a piston port engine."


Got a fun story for you, Rick. Please have patience.
I got this big, old tree on our property. The tree huggers are constantly at my gate wanting information on know, age, height, etc. So, yesterday I gave in and told them, "Come back tomorrow, hippies. I'll have that information for you."
"Groovy, ma! We dig you, man! Peace!"
 I'm thinking, I'll 'groove' them filthy bastards!"
So, the next morning, here they come, screeching up in their rickety, oil-belching Volkswagen bus.
"Dave, man; didja find out anything?"
"Sure, hippies. It's a Douglas fir, it's 119 feet tall and 132 years old."
"Far out, man! How did you determine that?"
"Easy", I responded. "I cut it down, counted the rings and measured it!"
I didn't have the heart to tell them it landed on a snot-nosed lizard.
Rick, this is a true story. I have the pictures to prove it:
Wasn't that a warm story, Rick? Not as warm as we'll be burning this sonofabitch for heat this winter!
Note the red shop rag, my felling target. Spot on...again. Actually, it came down so hard, it blew the rag like 15 feet away and I just tossed it down there. Definitely woke up the neighborhood when it hit! (that & it was like 8 am.)

Fallen Tree

It's stories like these that warm my heart.


Sorry about a personal email your website was giving me trouble I have a Yamaha rt180 I got it from a guy on trade who said it sat over winter and won't start I put a fresh plug in it and some fresh gas on top of 1/4 can of seafoam and it started right up and ran but smoked bad as in a lingering cloud of smoke around the yard and was missing out a little then stopped running I checked the air filter and it desinegrated in my hand so I took the carb off and cleaned it thoroughly inside and out including the jets in the bowl  and it won't start now so I'm stumped the bike is somewhat low on compression but it won't bump start either. Thanks for your time.


Yamaha RT 180

When a bike has been sitting a long time, especially through a winter, I would immediately clean everything out from the gas tank to every jet in the carburetor. I would also turn the bike upside down, draining any crap of the bottom end that might have filtered down in there.  Put a fresh filter on the bike and use brand-new, high-octane fuel with a decent mix. You can use a little bit of starting fluid to get fired up, that's for sure. But if the depression is really low, then it's time for a top and job.

My name is Brett.  I've been riding bikes on the ranch rounding up cattle in Texas all my life.  Back in 2003 I made acquaintance of an ex MX rider turned sound man when I was playing in bands across TX.  We hit it off and have been friends ever since. About a year ago, he told me, "You have to read Super Hunky's book".  I finally bought your book(s) and have been hooked ever since.  Thnx for getting me back into riding.  Me and my eight yr old son have a grand time re- building engines and scheming about races that we'll never win out in the shop.  He's a natural grease monkey and loves every second of it. 
Reading your book, I've realized that writing is something that I CAN do.  I've done commercials and speeches and all kinds of things on the side to make extra money.  Reading your book kinda gave me inspiration to continue on.  For that, I thank you. 
Monkey Butt made me feel like I was one of the guys; grabbing a beer and seeing what the boys were up to.  Superb writing all around. 
I'll keep rebuilding my old bike and teaching my son the finer points of dirt racing from here on out.  Thnx, Super Hunky for the inspiration.
Brett Kastner

I wrote the book was to share all the wonderful times that I had with dirt bikes throughout the years.  If the words got you riding and enjoying life again, then it all worked. 



First of all did you actually ever ride or own a 490?

its the exact same as the 465 bored bigger the first year(1982) there easy to jet (99% of people can not jet something when your telling them what to do),

same ignition as the 465(it hit the same every time) the motor mounts were only weak the first year 1982(my 87 has bigger motor mounts than any bike i have ever seen lol), they came with no air leaks compression or anywhere in the intake system, there super high compression so shitty gas well make them detonate or ping they never well(with stock head) with race gas or prem with octane boost its a monster with 58+hp race gas or prem with octane boost is needed(along with any high compression engine 2 or 4 stroke. the suspension the first year was horrible(that rear shock going into the frame was a hopping sob) but they kept it up with the times in 85 it had the mile long suspension everything else had(none were actually good honda, kawi, suzuki ect) then they toned it down in 87.  They also doubled the size of the intake at the reeds in 84 or 85. And any yz490 82-90 well start in 2 kicks with just the choke on(they want it hot and cold) endless you have the leg of a 8 year old girl then you shouldent be riding a monster like this right out of the factory. I like the rest of your list but the 490 being on there and the info being almost totally wrong is sad to see it got dissed by honda fans and ect for not getting watercooled ect but the open days were dead and yamaha new it they had the great 465/490 engine they were going to sell it till the boom finally died and the horsepower war was over.(same exept bore and porting they also changed small stuff like how the exhaust exits and gave it a 5 speed in 84 i think.  Honda can go ahead and make bikes they get 10 recalls in a year and pay the magazines enough to give it bike of the year and not make it to a horrible bike list.

Johnathon King

Yamaha YZ490

When Yamaha brought the bike out for me to test, it felt very powerful and my initial impressions were that it was an amazing bike. However, as the bike warmed up, the jetting became very bad in the bike start blubbering all over the place. The guy from Yamaha worked all day with every conceivable jet combination he had  to try to make the bike work properly. In the cold morning air, we sort of got it working okay, but when it started warming up the bike became a mess.

The following Saturday, I took it to Saddleback Park and raced in two 45 minute  motos on the YZ 490. By the end of the second Moto, I had calluses pulled off of both hands and my gloves were bloody. I refused to ride the bike after that. It's a vibrating pile of crap that should never have been brought out and absolutely deserves a very high place on the worst bikes of all time list.


Hi Rick,
My Dad has had a older model Carabela Dirt Bike from we believe the late 60s early 70s.  We would like to sell it but can't begin to figure out the year.  There are numbers stamped on the frame fork tube: B.028404.  I've looked all over the internet trying to find a way to identify the year and make of this bike and haven't come up with anything.
Thank you for your time.
Lori Ritter

This should really help.  It's the site for Carabelas:


Way back in 1971 when Dirt Bike was only a few issues old, I and my buddies were sitting around the picnic tables at Indian Dunes under the Cottonwoods telling lies and getting ready to go back out and ride. At the time I was working part time at Wilmington Discount Cycle for Speed Thomas. I believe that it was the first Honda salvage yard in the country at the time. I was riding a Honda 160 twin because that's all I could afford. I worked for Speed for parts and I alway had tons of parts in the van whenever I rode because I was always swapping parts around for one reason or another. I was messing with the bike when this big guy walks up to me pushing a 501 Maico and introduces himself as Rick Sieman and would I by some chance have a cross bolt long enough to go through the frame and engine because you lost yours somewhere in the wash. Long story short, I have one and we put it in and it worked. We knew who you were from your picture in Dirt Bike and were excited to meet you. Then you offered to let me ride the 501 and I think I wet myself. That was the first 2 stroke that I ever rode and darn near the last. I wasn't big enough to start it but you did and sent me on my way. You told me that it didn't come on the pipe till mid range (whatever that meant, but I didn't want to feel dumb) so off I go to the sand wash and went through first and second easy like, hit third and cranked the throttle and found out what happens when a 501 hits the pipe. Holy cow did that scare the crap out of me. I didn't crash but that was a come to Jesus moment and I returned it to you promptly in one piece with my thanks.

I have often thought of you in the intervening years and Googled your name a while back and kind of caught on your life. I rode for darn near 30 years and have the scars to prove it but I just wanted to share a memory with a guy I have alway respected and considered a friend and that I had the pleasure to meet 44 years ago.

Thank You

Jon T Haydon

501 Maico

Throughout the years, I've had the distinct pleasure of meeting a lot of good people, and the fact that you lent me a bolt that I needed when I needed it, made a big difference. I'm glad you enjoyed the 501, as I did too.       



The Last Ride

My new book, THE LAST RIDE, is at now out. It's fiction and starts in 1969, when an 18-year-old kid just out of high school gets a chance to ride his Yamaha 250 DT1 from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles Ö all off-road. 

His adventures are truly amazing. The book then jumps 40+ years where the same person, now in his 60s, wants to get that old Yamaha back in his possession and return it home by riding it all off-road across the country again.  The book is $15 plus $2.75 for mail anywhere in the US and for more information, the email is:  [email protected]. Newsletter
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